By Anne Cacherell
Meet Donald Gould, a 51-year old homeless veteran from Sarasota, Florida, who captured cyberspace’s attention after being filmed playing a 1977 hit “Come Sail Away” by Styx on a public sidewalk piano. He became an instant sensation after his public performance video was uploaded on Facebook and gathered 1.5 million views overnight.
This ex-Marine has a background in music education at the Spring Arbor University in Michigan. However, due to financial reasons, he didn’t finish the course. His struggles on substance abuse began 15 years ago when his wife died due to overdose and when he lost custody of his son. Gould ended up being homeless and providing entertainment for tips at communal pianos around the city.
To help Gould with his basic necessities and to search for his long-lost son, Aurore Henry, the passerby who uploaded Gould’s video on social media, together with her family, created a gofundme page which was able to raise over $30,000 in just 4 days.
“I think it’s important to recognize that what the people on the streets really need is a purpose and a sense of belonging. And that’s what Donald is getting,” Henry told ABC News.
Hope springs eternal. What is your takeaway from this homeless man’s story? Tell us what’s on your mind.